2012–13 Phoenix Suns season
The 2012–13 Phoenix Suns season was the organization's 45th season in the National Basketball Association. This season was the first since the 2003–04 season that the Suns were without star point guard and former two-time MVP Steve Nash after Nash was sign-and-traded to the rival Los Angeles Lakers. Another fan favorite, Grant Hill, also left for Los Angeles in this season, but he would sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. By technicality, the player who held the most playing experience for the Suns this season was Jermaine O'Neal.
|2012–13 Phoenix Suns season|
|Head coach||Alvin Gentry|
Lindsey Hunter (interim)
|General manager||Lance Blanks|
|Arena||US Airways Center|
|Place||Division: 5th (Pacific)|
Conference: 15th (Western)
|Playoff finish||Did not qualify|
|Television||Fox Sports Arizona|
- June 28, 2012: The 2012 NBA draft took place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
- July 1, 2012: The NBA free agency has begun.
- July 4, 2012: The Suns do a sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Lakers to exchange star point guard Steve Nash for two first round Lakers draft picks in 2013 (from the Miami Heat via the L.A. Lakers) and 2018 (due to 2015 having Top–5 protection and both 2016 & 2017 having Top-3 protection), as well as two second round picks in 2013 (from the Denver Nuggets via the L.A. Lakers) and 2014 (which eventually got traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves); Phoenix also signed forward Michael Beasley and re-signed their former back-up point guard Goran Dragić.
- July 11, 2012: Teams can officially sign, trade, and even amnesty players to their liking.
- July 15, 2012: The Suns used their amnesty clause on Josh Childress; Phoenix also officially sign former Houston Rockets players Goran Dragić & Luis Scola.
- July 20, 2012: The Suns officially sign Michael Beasley and re-sign Shannon Brown.
- July 24, 2012: The Suns sign Summer League standout P.J. Tucker.
- July 27, 2012: The Suns agree to a three-way trade with the New Orleans Hornets and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Suns would send Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick to the New Orleans Hornets and the Lakers' 2014 second round pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and they receive the contracts of Brad Miller and Jerome Dyson from the Hornets, as well as Wesley Johnson and a protected future first round draft pick from the Timberwolves.
- August 15, 2012: The Suns officially sign Jermaine O'Neal for one year, as well as waive the contracts of both Jerome Dyson & Brad Miller; Miller would officially retire a few weeks later.
- September 20, 2012: Channing Frye was confirmed to miss all of this season due to an enlargened heart via dilated cardiomyopathy.
- October 31, 2012: The regular season for the Suns begins.
- January 18, 2013: Coach Alvin Gentry ended up resigning from head coaching duties.
- January 20, 2013: Lindsey Hunter is announced as the new interim head coach for the Suns; assistant coach Sean Rooks resigns from his coaching duties.
- January 21, 2013: Assistant head coach and Suns fan favorite Dan Majerle resigns from his assistant head coaching duties; Phoenix Mercury head coach Corey Gaines becomes assistant head coach for the rest of the season.
- January 23, 2013: Defensive assistant head coach Elston Turner resigns from his assistant head coaching duties; former Phoenix Suns scout and Shanghai Sharks head coach Dan Panaggio becomes assistant head coach for the rest of the season.
- February 20, 2013: The Suns trade their own 2013 second round pick to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Marcus Morris, the twin brother of Suns power forward Markieff Morris. Phoenix also waives forward-center Luke Zeller.
- February 21, 2013: The Suns trade Sebastian Telfair to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Hamed Haddadi and a 2014 second round pick (worst selection between the Raptors and the Sacramento Kings).
|1||13||Kendall Marshall||Point guard||United States||North Carolina|
The Suns will once again only have pick 13 as their only first-round draft pick. The Suns used their only pick to select point guard Kendall Marshall from North Carolina. Marshall was a prolific passer, averaging 8.1 points and 9.8 assists in his last season with the Tar Heels. He also set the ACC & University of North Carolina season assist records, as well as winning the Bob Cousy Award for his performance in his sophomore year. Unfortunately, Marshall would retire from the league after playing for five years in the league. As for their second-round pick, it was traded to the Atlanta Hawks for Josh Childress via sign and trade. That selection became Mike Scott, who eventually came to Phoenix himself for a couple of days in 2017
Veteran players Grant Hill and Steve Nash, as well as the newly signed Shannon Brown, Michael Redd, and Ronnie Price have all become unrestricted free agents as of the end of the 2011–12 NBA season. Center Robin Lopez has become a restricted free agent as of the end of the season as well. In a unique situation, former CBA player Aaron Brooks is still a restricted free agent, but due to his signing with the Guangdong Southern Tigers and the Suns not re-signing Brooks to a new contract during the 2011–12 NBA season, he'll be a restricted free agent with restricted benefits. For example, the Suns can match any offer that they see fit, but they cannot do any sign-and-trades whatsoever with him. However, Phoenix was unlikely to bring back Aaron Brooks to an restricted free agent offer, so they made him unrestricted after trying to get Eric Gordon. In addition, the Suns may also use their amnesty clause to get rid of a player that they see is holding them back. However, they have to use it a week after the July moratorium (July 11); otherwise, the amnesty clause stays with the team until at least next season.
On July 3, 2012, Eric Gordon agreed to a tentative deal with the Suns for 4 years and $58 million. However, despite Gordon saying that "Phoenix is where my heart is now", since Gordon's a restricted free agent, his offer was matched by the New Orleans Hornets a full three days after signing free agents officially took place. Phoenix has, however, gained both former back-up point guard Goran Dragić and forward Michael Beasley as of July 4, 2012. As for Steve Nash, he was officially traded to the rival Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for first and second round draft picks in the 2013 draft, as well as a first round pick in the 2015 draft and a second round pick in the 2014 draft on July 4 as well. Grant Hill also went to Los Angeles, but he went to play for the Los Angeles Clippers on July 18, 2012. Ronnie Price would sign with the Portland Trail Blazers on July 18 as well; however, unlike Grant Hill, Ronnie Price would be waived by Portland on February 21, 2013. Aaron Brooks would go to the Sacramento Kings on July 16, 2012, but he would play for them until March 1, 2013. Four days later, Brooks decided to officially sign with his former team, the Houston Rockets, which tended to reverse Phoenix and Houston's trade in 2011 that had Goran Dragić going to Houston and Brooks going to Phoenix. The last player that became a free agent, Michael Redd, ended up retiring on November 2013.
On July 15, 2012, a day after Eric Gordon's contract was matched by the Hornets, the Suns ended up placing a winning bid on former Houston Rockets power forward Luis Scola, as well as used their amnesty clause on Josh Childress, who would eventually sign with the Brooklyn Nets until December 29, 2012. On July 25, 2012, the Suns agreed to re-sign Shannon Brown, as well as sign former Texas University standout P.J. Tucker and produce a three-way trade with the New Orleans Hornets and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Two days later, the Suns exchanged Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick to the Hornets and the Lakers' 2014 second round pick to the Timberwolves for Brad Miller's expiring contract and Jerome Dyson's non-guaranteed contract from the Hornets, as well as Wesley Johnson and a lottery protected 2013 first round draft pick that will stay in the first round until 2016 from the Timberwolves, which would then turn into two second round picks in 2016 and 2017. On August 15, 2012, the Suns decided to waive Jerome Dyson and Brad Miller's contracts and sign a one-year deal for Jermaine O'Neal. Former Suns player Leandro Barbosa considered playing for the Suns again, as well as the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets, before officially signing with the Boston Celtics on October 17, 2012. Luke Zeller and Diante Garrett were initially announced as training camp invitees on October 1. However, due to the heart condition involving Channing Frye, both players ended up making the team. Other players announced as possible candidates that day include Othyus Jeffers, Solomon Jones, and Ike Diogu.
Before the 2011–12 NBA season officially ended, Bill Cartwright had announced that he will not be returning as an assistant head coach to the Phoenix Suns. On July 2012, Elston Turner had competed for the head coach spot for the Portland Trail Blazers. Ultimately, he was not hired, and he stayed as an assistant coach for at least the start of the season. On August 28, 2012, the Suns hired Lindsey Hunter as an initial assistant head coach for player development. On October 4, 2012, the Suns also added both Sean Rooks and Basketball Hall of Famer Ralph Sampson as assistants for player development as well. Phoenix Mercury head coach Corey Gaines has also gained an assistant head coach role for player development later on in the season as well. The same thing would also be said for Dan Panaggio later on in 2013 as well.
On January 18, 2013, head coach Alvin Gentry was fired from head coaching duties. Gentry's firing came right after the Suns' worst opening stint in 28 years. Two days later, the Suns announced that Lindsey Hunter would surprisingly take on the role of interim head coach for the Suns instead of either Dan Majerle or Elston Turner throughout the remainder of the season. It was also announced that Sean Rooks would resign from his developmental coaching duties. A day later, Suns fan favorite Dan Majerle announced that he would resign from his assistant head coaching duties. Two days later, defensive assistant head coach Elston Turner announced his resignation from his duties as well. Because of their resignations, Phoenix Mercury head coach Corey Gaines gained a more permanent assistant coaching role for at least the rest of the season. In addition, former Suns scout and Shanghai Sharks head coach Dan Panaggio from the Chinese Basketball Association ended up becoming a new assistant head coach.
|2012–13 Phoenix Suns roster|
Because the Suns decided to amnesty Josh Childress' contract, he still gets paid the $6,500,000 that he would have been owed had he played for the Suns this season. While he still gets paid money out of being amnestied from the team for two more seasons, his salary does not actually affect the Suns' actual salary cap. In addition, since Brad Miller's contract guaranteed him around $850,000 this season, he was paid that salary despite being waived by the team and retiring in the process. Also, because Luke Zeller was waived from the team after January 10, 2013 came to fruition, his rookie salary of $473,604 ended up being counted by the Suns' salary cap as well since his contract was guaranteed by that point of the season.
|2012 pre-season game log|
Pre-season: 4–3 (Home: 3–0; Road: 1–3)
|2012–13 season schedule|
|y-Los Angeles Clippers||56||26||.683||–||32–9||24–17||11–5||82|
|x-Golden State Warriors||47||35||.573||9||28–13||19–22||9–7||82|
|x-Los Angeles Lakers||45||37||.549||11||29–12||16–25||8–8||82|
|1||c-Oklahoma City Thunder *||60||22||.732||–||82|
|2||y-San Antonio Spurs *||58||24||.707||2.0||82|
|3||x-Denver Nuggets *||57||25||.695||3.0||82|
|4||y-Los Angeles Clippers||56||26||.683||4.0||82|
|6||x-Golden State Warriors||47||35||.573||13.0||82|
|7||x-Los Angeles Lakers||45||37||.549||15.0||82|
|11||Portland Trail Blazers||33||49||.402||27.0||82|
|14||New Orleans Hornets||27||55||.329||33.0||82|
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game|
* – Stats with the Suns.
Awards and recordsEdit
- During this season, Jermaine O'Neal would surpass Hall of Famer centers Moses Malone, Artis Gilmore, and Elvin Hayes on the list of National Basketball Association career blocks leaders, recording 72 blocks throughout the season.
- On January 12, 2013, the Phoenix Suns became the fourth fastest NBA team (tenth team overall) to win 2,000 games with a 97–81 road victory against the Chicago Bulls. The other three fastest 2,000 win teams were the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics, and the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers.
Injuries/personal missed gamesEdit
- September 20, 2012: Channing Frye was confirmed to miss the entirety of this season due to an enlargened heart via dilated cardiomyopathy. He would return to playing for the Suns the following season.
- November 5, 2012: Jermaine O'Neal would miss six games due to the death of his aunt. He would return to play against the L.A. Lakers on November 16.
- November 29, 2012: Kendall Marshall was assigned to the Suns' NBA D-League team: the Bakersfield Jam for nine games. He returned to the roster on December 22, 2012 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
- January 10, 2013: Diante Garrett was assigned to the Suns' NBA D-League team: the Bakersfield Jam for seven games. He returned to the roster on January 28, 2013.
- January 23, 2013: Jermaine O'Neal was confirmed to miss seven games due to having an irregular heartbeat. He ended up returning on February 5, 2013 against the Memphis Grizzlies.
- March 5, 2013: Jermaine O'Neal would miss four games due to his daughter Asjia having surgery to repair a leaky heart valve. He ended up returning on March 13, 2013 against the Houston Rockets.
- March 6, 2013: Marcin Gortat would be out for the Suns for the rest of the season by having a Lisfranc sprain occur in his right foot during a home game against the Toronto Raptors.
- April 6, 2013: Diante Garrett was once again assigned to the Bakersfield Jam. He returned to the Suns a day later.
- April 11, 2013: Diante Garrett was once more assigned to the Bakersfield Jam.
|July 4, 2012
||To Phoenix Suns
||To Los Angeles Lakers|
/ / Steve Nash
|July 27, 2012||Three–team trade|
|To New Orleans Hornets
||To Minnesota Timberwolves|
|To Phoenix Suns|
|February 20, 2013
||To Phoenix Suns
||To Houston Rockets|
|February 21, 2013
||To Phoenix Suns
||To Toronto Raptors|
^ I: The Los Angeles Lakers originally planned for their 2015 first round pick to be conveyed to Phoenix. Due to the Lakers' poor season records in the following seasons, the selection failed to be conveyed until 2018 when the Lakers did not have any protections on that year's pick.
^ II: The Minnesota Timberwolves' second round pick the Suns were to get was originally projected to be their own second round pick at the time of the trade. However, due to stipulations between New Orleans and a future trade involving the Timberwolves, the pick that was sent to Phoenix was New Orleans' second round pick in 2016 instead of Minnesota's 2016 second round pick.
^ III: The Minnesota Timberwolves had initially planned to send their own first round pick (top-13 protected from 2013–14; top-12 protected from 2015–16) to the Suns before they traded it away to the Boston Celtics on January 9, 2015, for Brandan Wright. However, because Minnesota could not convey a first round selection for the Celtics due to their selections in those years being protected by 2016 due to them being eliminated from playoff contention in late March 2016, the Timberwolves would convey their 2016 and 2017 second round draft picks to Boston instead.
^ IV: The Toronto Raptors sent the least favorable of their own 2014 second round pick (top-36 protected) and the Sacramento Kings' 2014 second round pick (top-55 protected) that season.
|Luis Scola||Signed 3-year deal worth $13.5 Million as an amnestied player||Houston Rockets|
|Goran Dragić||Signed 4-year deal worth $34 Million||Houston Rockets|
|Michael Beasley||Signed 3-year deal worth $18 Million||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Shannon Brown||Signed 2-year deal worth $7 Million||Phoenix Suns|
|P.J. Tucker||Signed 2-year deal worth $1.5 Million||Brose Baskets Bamberg / Spartak St. Petersburga[›]|
|Jermaine O'Neal||Signed 1-year deal worth $1.35 Million||Boston Celtics|
|Luke Zeller||Signed 1-year deal worth $473,604b[›]||Austin Toros|
|Diante Garrett||Signed 1-year deal worth $473,604b[›]||Jeunesse Sportive des Fontenelles de Nanterre|
^ a: P.J. originally signed a contract to play for Spartak St. Petersburg in Russia. However, due to his performance in the Phoenix Suns' Summer League team, P.J. had earned the right to opt out of his contract with Spartak St. Petersburg and sign with the Suns. The last team P.J. officially played for, however, was with the Brose Baskets Bamberg in Germany. P.J. was also using his birth name of Anthony Tucker at that time as well.
^ b: Both Diante and Luke had initial rookie scale minimum deals due to being undrafted and spending their first seasons with the NBA. However, their deals weren't officially guaranteed until they continued to stay with the team on January 10, 2013. After the January 10 deadline, while both Garrett and Zeller ended up getting their money guaranteed, Zeller would end up being waived after the Suns traded for Marcus Morris, while Garrett was the only player to have stayed with the team at the end of the season.
|Player||Reason Left||New Team|
|Steve Nash||Sign-and-traded as an unrestricted free agent||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Josh Childress||Amnestiedc[›]||Brooklyn Netsd[›]|
|Aaron Brooks||Free Agente[›]||Sacramento Kings / Houston Rocketsf[›]|
|Grant Hill||Free Agent||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Ronnie Price||Free Agent||Portland Trail Blazersg[›]|
|Robin Lopez||Sign-and-traded as a restricted free agent||New Orleans Hornets|
|Hakim Warrick||Traded||New Orleans Hornets / Charlotte Bobcats / Orlando Magich[›]|
|Jerome Dyson||Waived||Hapoel Holon|
|Brad Miller||Waived||N/A (Retired)i[›]|
|Michael Redd||Free Agent / Waived||N/A (Retired)i[›]|
|Luke Zeller||Waived||Austin Torosj[›]|
|Sebastian Telfair||Traded||Toronto Raptors|
^ c: Because Josh Childress was amnestied from the Suns, he still got paid the remainder of his contract with the Suns (3 Years, $21 Million), but his salary away from the team did not affect the team's overall salary cap during that time period.
^ d: Childress would get waived by the Brooklyn Nets on December 29, 2012, and would not play for the rest of the season.
^ e: Aaron Brooks originally left the Suns due to the 2011 NBA lockout in concerns of playing for the 2011–12 NBA season. He signed with the Guangdong Southern Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association. However, due to the CBA's newest policy during the lockout, he could not return to the Suns once the lockout ended. After his season with Guangdong officially ended, the Suns decided not to re-sign him for a new contract that year. He was initially given a qualifying offer as a restricted free agent with restricted benefits, but he was eventually rescinded of his restricted rights and became an unrestricted free agent.
^ f: Brooks originally signed with the Sacramento Kings after the Suns decided to not use his restricted free agent rights that they initially had. Brooks continued to play for the Kings until March 1, 2013, which would be when the Kings decided to waive his contract. Four days later, Brooks decided to return to his original team, the Houston Rockets, for the rest of the season. As a result, the 2011 trade of having Goran Dragić being sent to the Houston Rockets and Aaron Brooks being sent to the Suns more or less ended up being reversed around two years later.
^ g: Ronnie Price would be waived by the Portland Trail Blazers on February 21, 2013.
^ h: Hakim Warrick was first traded to the New Orleans Hornets along with Robin Lopez. However, later on in the month of November, the Hornets decided to trade Warrick to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Matt Carroll, who would never play a single game for the Hornets. In contrast, Warrick only played one game for the Hornets before the trade happened. However, Warrick would be traded once again before the trade deadline; this time, he was sent to the Orlando Magic in exchange for power forward Josh McRoberts. Warrick would then be waived from the Orlando Magic two days after the trade deadline; he would never play a single game for the Magic.
^ i: Even though Brad Miller announced that after last season he would retire from playing basketball, he still had obligations in his contract that allowed him to come over with the Suns. Once the Suns decided to let him go (alongside Jerome Dyson), Miller would officially announce his retirement from playing basketball. In addition, even though Michael Redd was considered a free agent after his season with the Suns was over with, he never did find a new team for him to sign up with. As a result, Redd would announce his retirement from the NBA on November 6, 2013, well over a year after being an unrestricted free agent.
^ j: Luke Zeller first tried out for the Georgia national basketball team during the 2013 EuroBasket Tournament's tryouts at the end of the 2012–13 season before signing with the D-League's Austin Toros (which was also the last team Zeller played for before signing up with the Suns) nearly an entire year after being waived by the Suns on December 27, 2013.
- 2012–13 Phoenix Suns
- Suns Win Waiver Auction For Luis Scola
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-28. Retrieved 2012-07-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Suns Acquire Josh Childress
- "HoopsHype – NBA Salaries – Phoenix Suns". hoopshype.com. September 22, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
- Coro, Paul (January 12, 2013). "Suns finally get their 2,000th win with upset of Bulls". USA Today.